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The Binocular Journal

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Old Thursday 10th May 2018, 16:32   #251
black crow
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I think you're right. I just now added the 7x35 Aculon to my group of "alpha" bins. With a gift card from Amazon they cost me $38. Now that's my kind of alpha!
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Old Thursday 10th May 2018, 18:08   #252
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Well I find it amazing that a $60 binocular could be close at center to the SE. I'm going to have to find out now. You must be getting a kickback from Nikon. lol

What more does an alpha need than superior optics and a solid build quality for the main part? I don't think cost should be an important consideration in determining alpha status. Then it just becomes elitist muck imo. This might be a good subject for a thread of it's own because I'd be curious to hear what constitutes an alpha and if it's far from my idea of what that term means. Maybe "alpha" doesn't really have a solid definition and it's all in the heart and mind of the beholder.
Yeah, an undercover Nikon narc! ; ) If I plant the seeds of change at the rate of 15 web posts a month favoring their Aculons, I get a free T shirt that says, Got Aculon? Only it doesn't come in my size, so I just do it now to be a contrarian and to start the revolution back to Porros! The future is here, Viva la Porro!

PS If they're not as sharp as I said, then send them back and tell them you want the good ones, not the ones that slipped through QC! ; ) I hope they are that and more for you, and they would make a great gift for someone just starting out.
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Old Thursday 10th May 2018, 21:11   #253
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I got a free Nikon tee shirt too. I reviewed the EII on their website and chided them for discontinuing it and not putting up the specs (the anniversary model) like they do all their other binoculars for sale so the general public won't know how well it stacks up against their others. lol I'll bet they never post it but I'll get the tee shirt anyway.
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Old Thursday 10th May 2018, 21:40   #254
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What a day of wildlife viewing!!! I took the Swarovski EL 8x32 out for a hike which I usually don't do. I wanted to see how it performed in the deep dark green of the pine forest as opposed to open country birding. Boy did we see some stuff.

This starts off on a sad note as we came upon a large Raven with a broken wing. It was still in good shape so it must be recent. It couldn't get off the ground. I had no way to really help it out there so I left it to it's fate which is likely death. We got close to him. He was talking to himself in a low voice and looking under leaves for whatever he could find to eat. Such a beautiful animal to see so close up. As we continued down this narrow trail within about a 1/4 mile my little dog Nina set off a racket which she seldom does. I stopped to calm her and right then about 25 yards away something large took off from the brush. I couldn't see it but stopped and then moving very slowly scanned the area up ahead. Then about 50 yards away I saw him. A large black bear. We were up wind and it was breezy so he couldn't smell us. Nina couldn't see him and so had stopped barking. I had bear spray so was not too concerned. I actually moved a few yards towards him to get an unobstructed view and looked him right in the eye with the ELs. What a beautiful sight. Big healthy guy with a beautiful rich black coat. One of the biggest I've seen here. He couldn't quite make me out as I wear camo when hiking. He knew I was there but couldn't see or smell me. He swayed his head back and forth trying to smell me. Finally he grabbed a tree and stood up as if to go up it but it wasn't and easy tree to climb and thought better of it and came back down on all fours and slowly moved away a few yard and then turned and started towards us. I'd been watching him closely for over five minutes and so figured it was a good time to move off away from him.

Went off on a side trail to a higher elevation towards Hitt Rd and then back down on what I call Strawberry Hill which is an open hillside where I often go see birds. Right when we got there a couple of dozen (seriously) Western Tanagers flew into the low bushes and started feeding. They were all around us. I got very close to one and what a beautiful sight that was. I didn't move for many minutes and off to my right I heard a gobble and in walks a huge Tom Turkey maybe 30 yards away. I could only see his head and neck so I moved off ahead of him on another little path and a couple of minutes later he walked right back to us and this time I got a really close view of him full on. Very big ol Tom. Those were just the highlights of a great morning hike.

You know I've come to the conclusion it's futile to try and pick a best alpha binocular. Every one of mine can under the right conditions give the best view and convince me for a moment that it's my best. Just isn't true however. This Swaro can give astonishingly crisp and beautiful views under the right conditions while at other times looking a little pale and washed out. For instance looking into a white sky that is bright. The EIIs seem to handle those conditions better and give better views. I keep trying to pick a complete favorite but I'm always getting fooled. I think right now the EII and the Ultravid vie for doing the best under varied conditions but when the conditions are right the Swaro seems to have the most beautiful crisp view. Tomorrow I'll likely change my story.
This I can say. I love them all and am glad to own them.
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Old Saturday 12th May 2018, 21:11   #255
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Today I was going to take out the Nikon EII 10x35 but as I was carrying a load for a longer hike I decided at the last minute to take out the lighter and smaller Ultravid 10x32.

There I've mentioned binoculars so I can talk about what I saw now. . I took to the "Fell on Knee" trail which is my second favorite here and that goes along a very steep mountain side in some very large and tall pine forest. It's very dark and cool even on hot summer days and the sun shafts in giving it a beautiful and somber cathedral like feel. It's a great place to go to be quiet and alone but I was with Sunny and Nina my two favorite beings, who just happen to be dogs. Walking along the trail is a very steep drop down to the valley and the town of Ashland a mile or more below. You can see some of it through the trees at times. Just below the trail where I was a small gorge ran perpendicular to the trail and at first glance it looked like there was snow on some small trees in there. That made no sense because it's hot now. I put the binoculars on it and saw the most gorgeous Dogwood trees in full flower.

There were several dozen of all sizes and just and a little further on some of them came up to and went above the trail. The most beautiful white flowers about the size of your hand. In that dark green forest and with the sun lighting some of them up electric it was absolutely beautiful. As for birds I saw many Stellar Jays, two Winter Wren and one Hermit Warbler, a bird I've never seen here before. About a half mile further on and climbing steeply up now I came upon a man in full yellow firemans jumpsuit. They were just starting a controlled burn further up and he said I could just make it through if I hurried and he'd escort me if I liked. I declined because I wasn't in a hurry mode but I did have a very nice chat with Chris and we talked about how beautiful the Dogwoods looked and he told me of a new trail I can try at a later date. At that point we turned around and headed back for town and I got to walk along the beautiful Dogwoods one more time.

And with this journal report fine folk I will bid you farewell for now. I've come to the point where I'm in need of a break from BF. I realized on my hike that I have accomplished my goals in returning and am leaving with what I feel are the top of the heap optics in the category I was wanting. 30-35 mm.

Since returning I have added the following bins.

Swarovski 8x32 EL
Leica Ultravid 10x32
Kowa Genesis 8x33
Nikon EII 8x30
Nikon EII 10x35

My work is done and all that is left is to go out and use them. I've greatly enjoyed your company as I accomplished my quest but must admit that it's been a struggle for me here. I haven't been able to be fully myself and must admit now I've been holding back. At this point I can't emotionally take it anymore. I can't be at a forum where no can or does swear.

Happy trails to one and all. I may return at some date in the future but for now it's good bye. Thanks for the memories.
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Old Saturday 12th May 2018, 22:05   #256
Theo98
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by black crow View Post
And with this journal report fine folk I will bid you farewell for now. I've come to the point where I'm in need of a break from BF. I realized on my hike that I have accomplished my goals in returning and am leaving with what I feel are the top of the heap optics in the category I was wanting. 30-35 mm.

Since returning I have added the following bins.

Swarovski 8x32 EL
Leica Ultravid 10x32
Kowa Genesis 8x33
Nikon EII 8x30
Nikon EII 10x35

My work is done and all that is left is to go out and use them. I've greatly enjoyed your company as I accomplished my quest but must admit that it's been a struggle for me here. I haven't been able to be fully myself and must admit now I've been holding back. At this point I can't emotionally take it anymore. I can't be at a forum where no can or does swear.

Happy trails to one and all. I may return at some date in the future but for now it's good bye. Thanks for the memories.
John,

I thought for sure you'd be getting the Nikon WX 10X50 IFs next...just when you're getting to know somebody, surprise, surprise...

Hopefully you'll pop-in again soon and impart dreamy images of your many fine birding and excursion adventures for us to enjoy.

Be safe, be happy and remember, Seeing Is Believing!

Ted
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Old Sunday 13th May 2018, 00:40   #257
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Well BC what you really obtained after being on the forum was not five good bins, but five great glass. Enjoy your self and when you come back show some more pics of your travels (carry a small digital camera and take as many pics as you can).Oh, I forgot to ask you, do you keep a journal, if so keep writing, if not, keep writing.

Take care,

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Old Sunday 13th May 2018, 08:05   #258
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Good luck, happy trails, cool water, tumbling tumbleweeds to ya!

Quote:
Originally Posted by black crow View Post
Today I was going to take out the Nikon EII 10x35 but as I was carrying a load for a longer hike I decided at the last minute to take out the lighter and smaller Ultravid 10x32.

There I've mentioned binoculars so I can talk about what I saw now. . I took to the "Fell on Knee" trail which is my second favorite here and that goes along a very steep mountain side in some very large and tall pine forest. It's very dark and cool even on hot summer days and the sun shafts in giving it a beautiful and somber cathedral like feel. It's a great place to go to be quiet and alone but I was with Sunny and Nina my two favorite beings, who just happen to be dogs. Walking along the trail is a very steep drop down to the valley and the town of Ashland a mile or more below. You can see some of it through the trees at times. Just below the trail where I was a small gorge ran perpendicular to the trail and at first glance it looked like there was snow on some small trees in there. That made no sense because it's hot now. I put the binoculars on it and saw the most gorgeous Dogwood trees in full flower.

There were several dozen of all sizes and just and a little further on some of them came up to and went above the trail. The most beautiful white flowers about the size of your hand. In that dark green forest and with the sun lighting some of them up electric it was absolutely beautiful. As for birds I saw many Stellar Jays, two Winter Wren and one Hermit Warbler, a bird I've never seen here before. About a half mile further on and climbing steeply up now I came upon a man in full yellow firemans jumpsuit. They were just starting a controlled burn further up and he said I could just make it through if I hurried and he'd escort me if I liked. I declined because I wasn't in a hurry mode but I did have a very nice chat with Chris and we talked about how beautiful the Dogwoods looked and he told me of a new trail I can try at a later date. At that point we turned around and headed back for town and I got to walk along the beautiful Dogwoods one more time.

And with this journal report fine folk I will bid you farewell for now. I've come to the point where I'm in need of a break from BF. I realized on my hike that I have accomplished my goals in returning and am leaving with what I feel are the top of the heap optics in the category I was wanting. 30-35 mm.

Since returning I have added the following bins.

Swarovski 8x32 EL
Leica Ultravid 10x32
Kowa Genesis 8x33
Nikon EII 8x30
Nikon EII 10x35

My work is done and all that is left is to go out and use them. I've greatly enjoyed your company as I accomplished my quest but must admit that it's been a struggle for me here. I haven't been able to be fully myself and must admit now I've been holding back. At this point I can't emotionally take it anymore. I can't be at a forum where no can or does swear.

Happy trails to one and all. I may return at some date in the future but for now it's good bye. Thanks for the memories.


Well, that's really a shame, BC, because you really brought a lot to the forum, and I'll miss you. Especially the very creative Binocular Journal of yours! Finally, something creative was penned and it was from you! Hearing about other peoples journeys with their binoculars, and not having to discuss nuts and bolts to the nth degree.

I mean, how much can you really say about the BSII in a million responses that couln't be said in one page?!

Too bad, but I get it-sometimes it's better to walk away for a while and take a break from some of this.

Take it easy, be well, and have a blast! You will be missed, friend! You SOB (sons of binoculars), you did it, you escaped!!! Here's to ya!
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Old Friday 18th May 2018, 04:48   #259
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Birding a bit with 10x...

I was fortunate to purchase a used Nikon EDG 10x42 a few weeks ago, however I've only had limited opportunity to use them. A few days ago I left work early and went birding in the early evening at one of my regular and favorite spots, the Vallevista Staging Area, which is an access trail to the watershed around the San Leandro reservoir, a few miles from where I live.

It was a warm evening with some clouds, mainly in the east, making a dark sky with foreground in warm light. I did a small loop trail, and then an out and back trail. It was not terribly birdy, but rewarding nonetheless.. First off, the effect of 10x over 8x is noticeable in different ways. I tracked swallows zipping over the reservoir, as well as some raptors, and found I could see more detail of them in flight than I'm accustomed to, helping me analyze. These are the first 10x binoculars I've ever owned long enough to use multiple times, though I have tried a few pairs out in the last year. The 10x42 EDG has the eye relief and narrow enough IPD to fit me quite comfortably. The focus on this particular unit is a bit stiff to my taste, and apparently was adjusted that way by request of one of the previous owners for astro use. Not so great for close range, cranking the focus, chasing birds in the foliage, but it still does the job, and the rest of the time, I don't notice it.

I thought I would be hampered by either the narrower field of view, or shakiness, or something, but it doesn't seem to play a big role. Instead, I'm just enjoying a lot more feather detail on the close up birds, and can pull in more distant birds for a good view, and am surprised when I lift the binoculars from my eyes, to see how small the target actually is.. 10x is really a nice magnification. I was able to scan the reservoir at one point from an elevated position, and could pick out several pairs of wood ducks, as well as a black-crowned night heron, lurking in the reeds, its red eye visible, even from a fair distance.

I was walking back to the parking lot through a few hundred yards of trees just before sunset, and heard some squawking that did not resemble any birds I knew, so ventured off trail into a clearing bordered by Oaks and some Eucalyptus. On a low, horizontal Oak tree branch there was a Great-horned Owl feeding 2 chicks. It would be hard to call them chicks because they appeared bigger than the parent, I think because they were molting into their adult feathers, so were about 50% covered in downy fluff, which made them look 'big'... The parent owl glared at me, but kept tearing off chunks of the rodent in its claws and giving the bits to the chicks. I kept my distance, shot a few photos, and then just watched them go at it through the binoculars. The funniest thing was when one of the chicks got hold of the aft end of the rat and started swallowing it through a series of convulsive jerks, which I watched with fascination, as a long, textured tail slowly disappeared down the owl's gullet. The Nikons delivered every detail of that culinary feast in impeccable fashion.

I enjoyed the walk and the binoculars so much, that I lingered in the parking lot looking at landscape and light through the bins, catching views of Starlings that were nesting in a snag, as well as some Acorn Woodpeckers that occupy several pines. The sun was low, and cloud shadows were moving over the hills as I packed up. It resembled a Grant Wood painting, but it was the real deal.

-Bill
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Old Friday 18th May 2018, 10:26   #260
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Hey Bill, great write-up and outing, it seems for you! I like 10x too a lot-yes, it can show you more detail if you're steady enough. Most times, that's what I will use, unless I know I'm going to be in the woods. I can't wait to test my 7x42's there, but haven't gotten out for a good walk for a bit now. Glad your EDG's are giving you an excellent and new perspective in your viewing and that you found a 10x you like using.

Nice pictures too! It seems you found the magic hour of last light that I like so much, when everything keeps changing and highlighting as the sun goes lower.

I had to look up the artist-didn't remember who he was, but thanks for reminding me-and I saw some of his paintings that I don't remember seeing before too. I see what you mean-your mountain there looks very like his idyllic scenes. He has a different way of seeing too-maybe he was using bins all along! ; )

Very nice shot and discovery of the Great Horned owls! Good thing they are noisy at feeding time, or you might not have seen them! I saw the lichen and moss on that branch too, Lee!

Thanks for a nice walk around with you Bill, that was fun!
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Old Friday 18th May 2018, 17:06   #261
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Been looking for a lighter and more portable wide angle bin, I usually use either Canon 12x36 IS or ages 7x35 rangemasters, both kept in pelicases (I look after my optics), though it makes them heavier to lug about. I have read rather too many posts on this forum about many options… looks like the venerable 8x30E2 was the best option, but overly expensive and now hard to find. A nice 8x30E popped up for a decent price, so I snagged it. Arrived today, lovely and small, wide and sharp. If I could tell 2005 me about the E2 I could have done a little better, but still plenty happy. Now just n Ed to find more time to make use of them.

PEter
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Old Friday 18th May 2018, 22:30   #262
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Bill,

Thanks for sharing what seemed to be a great day out with a glass. It seems like a very picturesque area,and the owl shot, some wait a lifetime to see that. When I have some time, (rain here on the east coast for days now and some time from work), I will try to contribute some views from here as well. Glad you are enjoying the EDG.

Andy W.
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Old Saturday 19th May 2018, 15:15   #263
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Very nice shot and discovery of the Great Horned owls! Good thing they are noisy at feeding time, or you might not have seen them! I saw the lichen and moss on that branch too, Lee!

Thanks Barry. I generally stay on trail as the poison oak is abundant. However the sounds I was hearing were intriguing, and the location was actually a clearing amongst the trees where a house had once stood before the reservoir was built in the late 20's.

I dare say there's more than lichen on that tree branch!.. some loose feathers for one..

-Bill
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Old Saturday 19th May 2018, 15:25   #264
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Bill,

Thanks for sharing what seemed to be a great day out with a glass. It seems like a very picturesque area,and the owl shot, some wait a lifetime to see that. When I have some time, (rain here on the east coast for days now and some time from work), I will try to contribute some views from here as well. Glad you are enjoying the EDG.

Andy W.
Andy, I am definitely enjoying the binoculars! I'm running an errand in the North Bay today and plan to use the EDG in some wetlands. It's probably more of a scope friendly environment, but I'll see how 10x performs. My only 'complaint' about them at this point is that they smell like tobacco. My wife used them and announced "these stink!" She didn't mean the optics....

I'd like to see/hear what your neck of the woods looks like from a birding perspective, so hope you post about it when you have the opportunity.

-Bill
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Old Wednesday 23rd May 2018, 21:56   #265
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I've been meaning to put pen to paper for a while, but time has been a scarce commodity of late. When the weather and birding is as good as it is you want to be out there as much as you can.

I returned to the Oberkochen 8x30 after several months during which the conditions would not let a single-coated porro play to its strengths, and have found myself delighted all over again by how enjoyable it is to use, its fine build quality, and what I still consider to be a pretty decent view. It is tiny - which actually took a bit of getting used to initially, but which I really enjoy now. When a porro is this small and light it is just as easy for me to handle as a roof. It's inconspicuous in use (which can be useful in certain situations), adds hardly any weight to the bag or briefcase you would take to work, and weighs hardly anything in the hand, which together with the old school Zeiss mechanical quality, make it most pleasant to use. Image wise, the expansive view is always enjoyable, and the poor light transmission by modern standards is less of an issue in strong May sunshine - although the fairly noticeable yellow colour cast can make for an unpleasant view in certain conditions (especially when there is a bit of haze/smog). I did find this binocular a bit finicky initially in terms of eye placement, but this has gone away with the familiarity of regular use. It gives you a very similar (adjusted for magnification) image to the 10x50 model from the same manufacturer I have now been able to compare it to, but over an even wider field of view which can be held much more steadily thanks to being half the weight and far more compact - a very neat packaging job. I get around the short eye relief by keeping the binocular to my eyes all the time.

I observed my most recent successful hunt by a peregrine with this binocular. She launched off her perch and went straight after a small group of pigeons flying out about 50 to 60 feet above the rooftops not far from me. Her first target probably saw her coming as it swerved away, but she immediately switched to two others and speared right into one, bringing it under control and dispatching it in seconds. All the birds were lit up by the morning sun and the old classic gave me the perfect view of the perfect hunt.
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Old Wednesday 23rd May 2018, 23:01   #266
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Patudo, nice to hear of a vintage binocular report for a change here, and glad that you were enjoying them! I only have one vintage binocular that works-it's 7x35 Herter's 11 degree, which is very sharp, but only comes into it's own on overcast days when it isn't bright sunshine out. Then it doesn't show the yellow cast, of yesteryear, and gives a nice wide view besides.

Too bad for the Pigeon, but good news for the Falcon. Nature is nature, and we can't fault it, though it isn't always what we want to see. I would rather see a good get-away than a kill, but it is what it is. All of us need sustenance to live though. Some nature is passive, and some aggressive, but there isn't usually a choice if you are an observer, only as a participant!

I love watching Hawks, Eagles and other predatory birds like Owls too, though I just marvel in their flight abilities and beauty of form and function usually. I've never seen a live kill as yet, and I'm not really sorry I haven't! I think as you get older though, sometimes your testosterone levels don't rule you anymore, and you change a good bit, I believe. Then you feel more like I do about nature you want to see than nature that needs to be!

No matter, good report and binocular tie-in too!
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Old Thursday 31st May 2018, 19:19   #267
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Thanks Barry. I generally stay on trail as the poison oak is abundant. However the sounds I was hearing were intriguing, and the location was actually a clearing amongst the trees where a house had once stood before the reservoir was built in the late 20's.

I dare say there's more than lichen on that tree branch!.. some loose feathers for one..

-Bill
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Andy, I am definitely enjoying the binoculars! I'm running an errand in the North Bay today and plan to use the EDG in some wetlands. It's probably more of a scope friendly environment, but I'll see how 10x performs. My only 'complaint' about them at this point is that they smell like tobacco. My wife used them and announced "these stink!" She didn't mean the optics....

-Bill
Heh, I think I saw lichen on that branch, but maybe not, Bill! ; ) I can see the one feather, and some other white stuff....!

I know of what you speak of stinky binoculars too-my 7x FL's seemed to smell pretty good when I first got them, like cologne or perfume even, but after that wore off, it was definitely tobacco that remained! I'm not fond of that stink either, even more so maybe because I used to be a smoker, and can't stand to smell it in the air now, or on objects. I think I can clean mine to help that smell (FL composite), and maybe get new rubber objective caps and a new case and straps. After that, there's not much left for the smell to linger. But I've been a bit busy, and haven't used them much at all yet. But it's on my to do list now.
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Old Thursday 31st May 2018, 21:03   #268
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Well, I snuck out again from the cave, to do some quick shopping over the weekend, and on the way stopped at my town site by the railroad tracks again, same as last week. But this time, it was just warmer and some sun instead of drizzle, though a quiet day there behind the strip office center on a weekend day. The grass field behind the railroad tracks was alive again with birds, I was pleased to see, as were the nearer bushes, wires and trees, and sky too for fly-bys. And the occasional mood upsetting commuter train, of course to breeze by, and blow its horn along the way, reorganizing the wildlife as it passes. Though luckily, the weekend schedule is better than weekday interruptions here.

All I had with my are my car bins, the Minolta Classic II 8x40 Porros, that don't seem to be a big handicap either in most cases. In fact at one point in viewing I just thought to myself, what a great view from these old bins, and what more could I ask, what more could I need than these! They were doing a great job of it, and I was glad I had them-my cheapest pair of used binoculars, bought for a paltry $50 back when it meant a lot to me, that $50 bucks!

One thing that surprised me though, was the setting of the diopter to my eyes that day, was far different than I had been using them before, more minus than plus, as I usually use them. But I could tell once I did adjust them, it was even a better view right away, and I was glad I decided to adjust them. Though this diopter just moves on its own, with some downward pressure on the oculars in use. So I have to keep adjusting them-no problem, as they have a useful embossed scale that is easy to see, so I just keep an eye on the setting as I use them. Yes, I probably could O-ring them also if I went to the trouble to find ones to fit.

I saw a bunch of birds but nothing out of the ordinary here except for a lone Eastern Kingbird, which I thought it could be at the time, for it's white tail stipe at the end of the tail, but it looked slimmer and smaller than I remembered from my one other time I saw one, which was closer to me that time. So this time, I was happy with the detail I could see with my aging Porros, but wishing they were 10x instead of 8x, just to get more detial in the wide open fields there. It's not the first time I felt that there, so I think I need to keep a 10x for when I stop by the office site in the future. That is where I believe I saw my first Bald Eagle-in the same Minolta bins I had in the car. That was even farther away than the Kingbird-even twice the distance at first, so yes, 10x can really be useful for getting closer to the birds that are farther than you would like to view them.

But I can say without a doubt, I like the Porro view a lot, for the 3D depth of field you get when you are focused on a spot, such as when I noticed that an area of grass was more in focus with the Porros, than when I used my roofs, which had to be refocused to show as much detail in a small area. I noticed this when comparing my 10x Porros to my 10x roofs, the first time. And now again when focusing on various areas of the field, and seeing the great depth of view these provide, showing wildflowers in groups that just please the eye to view them.

On another note, I found this helpful bird ID'ing site by various attibutes, which others may find helpful too:

http://www.realtimerendering.com/birds/birds.html

It's what I used to determine that it was really another Kingbird that I saw again, mainly from the white tail banding I saw. And then I found my Sibley's guide again, that fell under a piece of furniture-and was glad to have it after not having it for a while! I have a few other bird books too-like the Audubon guide, and Pennsylvania Birds, and another general birding book with great pictures, but missed having the Sibley when I wanted it!

Back at home this Spring, because I've been tied to the apartment lately, all I can do is witness the coming of Spring in the flora-the Dogwoods, Giant Pink Rhodedendrons, wildflowers and weeds blooming, and now the Sour Cherry tree-popcorn type blooms at first, and now the cherries are growing and changing color. That is my main focus lately at home, but also a few birds as well-a lucky glimpse of a colorful Cardinal, Bluejay, Goldfinch, or Starling, and the Crows, Doves, Sparrows, Robins, Catbird, Mockingbird, etc-but few and farbetween it seems here at times. But I am gateful for what I see even at home, as the changing seasons bring entirely different views here, and just depeding on lighting, it can vary from dramatic to ordinary, but it always makes me happy I have some bins to make it all look so much more impressive in the details I can see.

And when I get a chance to be away from home, it's just that more special to me to see different birds, and even white-tailed deer, and so much more flora that I ever see at home, that I always marvel in nature, even if it is still in suburban terrain, and the magic I see through my binoculars is so much different than with my own eyes! This is a secret world, only available to those in the know. But I hope we all can do more to get others interested in these special devices, and the natural world we all live in but don't always see without them.
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Old Saturday 2nd June 2018, 04:14   #269
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But I am gateful for what I see even at home, as the changing seasons bring entirely different views here, and just depeding on lighting, it can vary from dramatic to ordinary, but it always makes me happy I have some bins to make it all look so much more impressive in the details I can see.

And when I get a chance to be away from home, it's just that more special to me to see different birds, and even white-tailed deer, and so much more flora that I ever see at home, that I always marvel in nature, even if it is still in suburban terrain, and the magic I see through my binoculars is so much different than with my own eyes! This is a secret world, only available to those in the know.
Well said Barry! Its good you are getting out a bit, but also enjoying the 'alternative universe' that the bins provide even when you are at home. It is a secret world of sorts.... going on with or without us peering at it through a keyhole.

-Bill
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Old Saturday 2nd June 2018, 18:43   #270
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I was out yesterday birding at Madrona Marsh in Torrance, CA. It is only a few miles from my house and I've done more birding there than anyplace else, so it feels a bit like home court for me. It was mid-afternoon and windy, so it was not the best time for birding, but I just got a new binocular (Zeiss Victory 8x25) that I wanted to try out. The marsh was pretty much deserted at that time, but the sun had broken through the overcast so it was a very pleasant hour's walk.

The marsh is drying and the ponds are receding, so there were fewer water fowl than even a week ago. OTH, it is spring and there are many young to be seen, especially Canada Geese and Mallards. Fortunately I did not run into the young skunk I found last week. The notion that I might be between that baby skunk and it's mother had me gingerly but slowly walking backwards in my footsteps like a cartoon character trying to leave the scene.

i was looking for warblers at the bank of a very small pond covered in dense foliage. There were a couple of Mallards feeding and over the course of a minute or so two Snowy Egrets flew in and then were joined by a third. All three were shuffling through the shallows to see what they could stir up. One Mallard protested mildly, and then everyone was back about their own business. It was one of those quiet peaceful moments when I found it hard to believe I was in the middle of the city.

BTW, I am very excited about this new binocular. It is light/compact, and handles very well. I am surprised that a binocular this small can perform so well. Of course it still has the new toy aura, but I am optimistic that this one may be something special.

Alan
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Old Thursday 7th June 2018, 21:28   #271
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I was out yesterday birding at Madrona Marsh in Torrance, CA. It is only a few miles from my house and I've done more birding there than anyplace else, so it feels a bit like home court for me. It was mid-afternoon and windy, so it was not the best time for birding, but I just got a new binocular (Zeiss Victory 8x25) that I wanted to try out. The marsh was pretty much deserted at that time, but the sun had broken through the overcast so it was a very pleasant hour's walk.

The marsh is drying and the ponds are receding, so there were fewer water fowl than even a week ago. OTH, it is spring and there are many young to be seen, especially Canada Geese and Mallards. Fortunately I did not run into the young skunk I found last week. The notion that I might be between that baby skunk and it's mother had me gingerly but slowly walking backwards in my footsteps like a cartoon character trying to leave the scene.

i was looking for warblers at the bank of a very small pond covered in dense foliage. There were a couple of Mallards feeding and over the course of a minute or so two Snowy Egrets flew in and then were joined by a third. All three were shuffling through the shallows to see what they could stir up. One Mallard protested mildly, and then everyone was back about their own business. It was one of those quiet peaceful moments when I found it hard to believe I was in the middle of the city.

BTW, I am very excited about this new binocular. It is light/compact, and handles very well. I am surprised that a binocular this small can perform so well. Of course it still has the new toy aura, but I am optimistic that this one may be something special.

Alan
That sounds like a great moment to be in, Alan-and I'm glad that you were there to experience it. It's those moments that we all live for, and that will become memories that we cherish over time.

Enjoy your new binocular-it sounds like a nice one. Young eyes probably do better with the compacts, I would imagine. If they work for you, that's great!
Sometimes less is more, and you seem to have discovered a good one for you. I hope they continue to please you. Give an update if possible-it's good to hear different views for a change too, thanks.
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Old Thursday 14th June 2018, 07:36   #272
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bluespiderweb, that is a nice idea about the 'secret world' and part of it is about being in the right place at the right time.

While waiting for the 12x50 HDs to come back from Meopta I have only had the Kenko Ultraview II 8x32 Sightron clone to play with. They are very satisfactory but less useful at home since the big trees came into leaf. Nor are they much use on the nearby Common now for the nightjar season at around 10.00pm! It is a huge area of heath and scattered trees where each year they tend mostly to be seen or heard in a different place. For that reason and with some success, I have tended to make a different particular spot the current favourite, and this year it was a bench on a slight ridge in an open area. There were several nights when they have briefly appeared there, so I guessed there might be a nest nearby, and yesterday evening I was prompted to have another go by a feature about nightjars on the Springwatch TV series (BBC2 IPlayer from 48mins 15secs 'in', until 52mins)

So I went to the Common again, where the bench is only a short walk, and got a good view of a woodcock in flight on the way. At 9.15 there was the spell of birdsong, most of which which I could not identify as the birds all settled down for the day. Then a bit of churring by NJs in the distance, and on cue at 9.45 from that bench, saw them again. On one of three occasions over a few minutes, one of the beauties flew right towards me, and then almost around my head for a few moments, as close as 10 feet away. On another, a bird flitted back and forth quite near and really low down, and every time it was still strange and wonderful, perhaps the best evening so far.

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Old Thursday 14th June 2018, 11:55   #273
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So I went to the Common again, where the bench is only a short walk, and got a good view of a woodcock in flight on the way. At 9.15 there was the spell of birdsong, most of which which I could not identify as the birds all settled down for the day. Then a bit of churring by NJs in the distance, and on cue at 9.45 from that bench, saw them again. On one of three occasions over a few minutes, one of the beauties flew right towards me, and then almost around my head for a few moments, as close as 10 feet away. On another, a bird flitted back and forth quite near and really low down, and every time it was still strange and wonderful, perhaps the best evening so far.
Wow. Did they do any wing-clapping? Its ages since went out at night on Hollesley Heath in Suffolk and watched them ghosting around and displaying. Magical.

Lee
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Old Thursday 14th June 2018, 15:59   #274
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No, until seeing that Springwatch episode I have not heard wing clapping or seen the strange wing vibration. Also thought they only churred when sitting in a tree, because it had been so well localised when I have heard it at short range before, apparently from a birch grove which I used to visit in the last 2 seasons. So far I have not heard or seen them again there this year.
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Old Friday 15th June 2018, 03:42   #275
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You're right Chris, if your timing is right, sometimes you are rewarded with even more than you expected. But those I consider bonuses, in addition to our regular magic-eye views from our binoculars of everyday scenes of nature and light, and familiar surroundings.

I like your story of the Nightjars, and I wondered if they were related to the Nighthawks I used to see around here. So I looked them up, and sure enough, they are very similar! I used to see these Nighthawks when I was a kid, spending as much time as I could outside until I had to come in for the evening! I always marveled at their graceful flight and silouhettes, with the white wing bars on thier large slender wings clearly visible to ID them.

The last I saw one was when I was nearing 20 at my parents apartment, about 45 years ago! There was an adjacent vacant field where you could still see some nature, and the Nighthawks could always be counted on to be there in their season. Now there is just another ugly housing development there, of course. At that time, I wasn't even interested in bird watching, but I just liked untouched wild areas. Most times I didn't even have my binoculars in these occasional sightings, an 8x30 Bushnell Sportview Porro that performed pretty well, probably due to the simple design, and being made in the late 60's when it seems quality control was pretty good for Bushnell. [Edited to add]: I just thought of the possibility that my 20/20 visioin back then helped too! I'd like to take a view through them again, if I could now. But I sold them off to a friend. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that he still has them, though we have lost touch over time.

I found a great website, and I imagine many of you know about it-The Audubon site that lists birds, pictures and soundbites to let you also hear them, and compare other similar species. Here's the link, if you don't already know of it: https://www.audubon.org/bird-family/nightjars

I heard that flutter of the wings on the Nightjar's sound clip-and it reminded me of a Ruffed Grouse-another bird I haven't seen in many moons, but they do live north of us here, in the Pocono mountains, and I seldom go there anymore.

Thanks for sharing your outing with the Nightjars, Chris! Great to be there along with you!
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